Can Grass Cut You? Understanding the Risks and Prevention Tips

Can Grass Cut You? Understanding the Risks and Prevention Tips
Can Grass Cut You? Understanding the Risks and Prevention Tips

Can Grass Cut You?

Yes, grass can cut you! As a home gardener, it is common to come into contact with grass while working in the yard.

Mostly it is not a big deal. Grass can cause minor cuts and abrasions on our skin. These cuts and grazes are caused by the tiny blades called trichomes located on the surface of the grass.

When the skin comes into contact with these sharp blades, it can experience minor cuts. These cuts can vary in size depending on the grass type and the contact duration.

In this article, we will be exploring grass cuts and treatment options. Also, we will be discussing how to get rid of these types of grass that cause skin irritation.

Does Grass Have Micro Blades?

Grass has micro blades, which are located on the leaves. These micro blades are relatively small and sharp and can only be seen through a microscope.

If you take a closer look at the grass, you will notice many tiny little hairs around the grass blade, known as trichomes.

These trichomes are the main reason behind itching, abrasions, and minor skin cuts when touching the grass.

What Are Trichomes, And Why Does Grass Have Them?

What Are Trichomes, And Why Does Grass Have Them
What Are Trichomes, And Why Does Grass Have Them?

Trichomes are tiny, hairlike structures found on the surface of many plants, including grass. They play an essential role in the survival and reproduction of plants and are a necessary adaptation to the environment. Trichomes serve several functions for grass.

Defense

Trichomes can protect the plant from herbivores and insects by making it difficult to eat or producing chemicals that repel them. [1]

Thermoregulation

Trichomes can regulate the plant’s temperature by trapping heat or cooling the surface of the leaves.

Water Retention

Trichomes can help the plant retain water by reducing transpiration or water vapor loss through the leaves.

Photosynthesis

Trichomes can increase the surface area of leaves, leading to increased photosynthesis and more efficient energy production.

Does Grass Cause Micro Cuts, Scrapes, Or Large Cuts?

Grass can cause a range of cuts, scrapes, and abrasions on the skin.

Micro cuts are small, barely visible cuts caused by the tiny, sharp trichomes on the surface of the grass blades. These cuts often go unnoticed but can lead to itching or slight discomfort.

Scrapes are caused by rubbing against a rough surface on the grass, such as a rough leaf or stem. They are less severe than cuts and may manifest as a red abrasion or bruise on the skin.

Large cuts are very rare. These are more visible and can be caused by larger, stronger trichomes on certain types of grass or by rubbing against rougher surfaces of the grass. These cuts can be more painful and may bleed.

How To Treat a Grass Cut?

Grass cuts are generally not dangerous unless you are allergic. It is similar to a paper cut, which does not require much treatment.

For most people, washing the wound with soap and water and covering it with a plaster or band-aid is enough.

But some people may have different levels of sensitivity to cuts or abrasions. Then, grass cuts should be treated similarly to any other type of large cuts or abrasions.

It is also possible that grass cuts can cause itching and welts. Certain species of grass, such as Bermuda grass, can produce allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

To make it even worse, there may be bugs and mites present in the grass that can cause reactions. These mites can enter hair and cause itching and red welts.

A best home remedy for relieving the itch and discomfort of insect bites is to create a paste using baking soda. Simply mix baking soda with a small amount of water to form a paste. Then apply it directly to the affected area and secure it with a bandage. The baking soda’s alkaline properties will neutralize the acid from insect bites, and speed up the healing process which will reduce itchiness. [2]

Grass Varieties Known For Sharp Blades

Grass Varieties Known for Sharp Blades
Grass Varieties Known for Sharp Blades

Below is a list of grass varieties with sharp blades commonly found on lawns, gardens, and parklands.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass has fine, sharp blades that can cause small cuts and abrasions to the skin. It is mainly used in lawns, sports fields, golf courses, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, and other turfgrass areas.

Fescue Grass

Fescue grass has sharp, pointed blades that can easily cut the skin. It is mainly used for lawns, pastures, and sports fields. It can also be used for erosion control.

Some fescue grass varieties have endophytes, which can cause health problems in grazing animals. However, there is endophyte-free tall fescue that animals can safely eat.

Foxtail Grass

Foxtail grass doesn’t have sharp blades, but it has sharp, pointed awns (seed heads). These seed heads are typically found at the top of the plant and can range in color from green to brown. The awns are very stiff and can easily pierce the skin, making contact with this grass painful. 

Foxtail grass can also be a hazard to animals. The awns can easily become lodged in their fur, causing irritation or infection. The awns can be challenging to remove and may go unnoticed until they cause serious problems.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass is known for its microscopic barbs, which run along the edges of the leaves. These barbs can be sharp to the touch and cause minor cuts or scratches.

Grass Varieties Known For Their Gentle Touch And Other Soft Alternatives

Grass Varieties Known for Their Gentle Touch And Other Soft Alternatives
Grass Varieties Known for Their Gentle Touch And Other Soft Alternatives

Below is a list of grass varieties with soft, delicate blades that are unlikely to cause cuts or irritation on the skin. These grasses could be used instead of sharp grass varieties.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass has a fine texture and soft, lush appearance. It is often used in lawns, parks, and golf courses due to its ability to maintain a dense, low-growing habit.

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass has fine texture and softness, making it a popular choice for lawns and other landscaping applications. It is also drought-tolerant, making it a good choice for areas with low water availability.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is a soft grass variety. Its leaves are fine and dense, and its texture is smooth and comfortable to the touch. It is often used in lawns and sports turf and is known for its low maintenance and tolerance to heat and drought. This is a very aggressive spreading variety that can even choke out weeds.

Feather Reed Grass

Feather Reed grass has soft, feathery plumes that appear in late summer and early fall. The leaves of the plant are also relatively soft to the touch, making it a popular choice for landscaping and garden design.

Blue Fescue

Blue Fescue is ornamental grass known for its fine, soft leaves. Its texture is delicate and not sharp, making it a popular choice for gardens and landscaping.

Clover

Clover is a type of ground cover known for its soft texture and low growing habit. It is often used as a lawn alternative or as a ground cover in gardens and landscaping.

Lamb’s Ears

Lamb’s Ears has soft, fuzzy leaves, which give it a unique texture and feel. This variety is often used as a ground cover or filler in gardens and landscapes. The leaves of Lamb’s ears are not sharp and will not cause cuts or abrasions on the skin.

Cutting The Grass

Correctly cutting the grass to ensure a healthy and well-maintained lawn involves several steps. These are:

  1. Ensure your lawn mower’s blades are sharp and properly adjusted to the correct cutting height for the type of grass in your lawn.
  2. Mow in a different direction each time to prevent the grass from leaning to one side.
  3. Remove any debris or large objects from the lawn before mowing to prevent damage to the mower or injury to yourself.
  4. Avoid mowing when the grass is wet, as this can cause the grass to clump and lead to uneven cutting.
  5. Finally, after mowing, check for any bare spots or uneven areas and reseed or fertilize if needed to promote healthy growth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Grass Cut You Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Grass Cut You Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How To Protect Yourself From Sharp Grass In The Garden?

1. Wear protective clothing, such as long pants and sleeves, while working in the garden.

2. Use gloves to protect your hands from sharp grass blades.

3. Keep your lawn and garden well-maintained to prevent overgrowth of sharp grass.

4. Identify and remove any sharp grass in your garden or lawn.

5. Use a lawn mower or trimmer with a protective shield to prevent grass blades from flying toward you while cutting.

6. Avoid walking barefoot in sharp grass areas. Wear shoes or sandals.

Why Does Grass Cause Itchy Skin?

Grass can cause itchy skin due to the presence of tiny blades called trichomes on the surface of the grass blades. When the skin comes into contact with these trichomes, they can cause small cuts or abrasions, leading to an itchy sensation. Then, the sweat can irritate the cuts and cause itching.

Another reason that grass can cause itchy skin is that certain grasses release chemicals or liquids that irritate the skin.

Some individuals may also have an allergic reaction to the grass, which can cause itching or other symptoms.

How To Get Rid Of Sharp Grass From The Garden?

Some grass varieties require different removal methods, but most of them can be removed the same way.

1. Hand pull small infestations using gloves to protect your hands from the sharp grass blades.

2. Use a hoe or rake to dig up the grass and its roots.

3. Use a sod cutter to remove the grass and its roots for larger infestations.

4. Replant the area with a desirable grass or ground cover to prevent re-infestation.

5. Regularly mow and maintain the area to keep the unwanted grass from returning.

Can Grass Cuts Be Prevented By Regularly Maintaining And Trimming a Lawn?

Yes, regularly maintaining and trimming a lawn can help prevent grass cuts. This will keep the grass from growing too tall and developing additional sharp blades.

Conclusion

By understanding the types of grasses known for their sharp blades and taking preventative measures, such as regularly maintaining and trimming your lawn, you can reduce the risk of getting grass cuts.

Hopefully, you found the answer to “can grass cut you?” and now you know the risks and prevention tips.

If you like our article, check out our other “Lawn Care” guides. Read and learn more about how to manage your lawn issues.

Also, discover more valuable insights in our “Garden Tools” section.

Want to share your thoughts, or have you read something you disagree with? Please send us an email! We would love to discuss it 🙂

Check Our Other Guides